[ExI] did gpt4 get dumber?

Darin Sunley dsunley at gmail.com
Fri Jul 21 16:06:38 UTC 2023

Nah, it doesn't work that way. While you can vary the amount of compute you
use on a training run (and the more you use, typically the better), once a
neural network like ChatGPT4 is trained, it takes the same amount of
compute to run a textbot exchange through it every time. You can't reduce
that amount of compute without rebuilding the thing from the ground up with
a different, more efficient neural architecture.

Theoretically they could have changed the activation function in the
neurons to something more computationally efficient 9i.e. moving from
sigmoid or tanh to RELU), but afaik they were already using RELU, which is
almost as efficient as you can get.

I suppose they could be trying to carve neurons out without doing a
ground-up retraining. That's kinda like blindly poking into your brain with
a hot needle - they may find pieces they can prune, but they're just as
likely to cripple it. If they're actively researching mechanical
interpretability (trying to actually understand what the giant inscrutable
matrices are actually doing) and using those findings to optimize ChatGPT
4, they could be subtly altering or damaging its performance if they apply
those changes to the production code, but it'd be mildly surprising if
they're doing this in production without extensive benchmarking.

On Fri, Jul 21, 2023 at 6:59 AM spike jones via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> It felt like GPT got dumber while I was away.  Gordon suggested that I got
> smarter, but I don’t think that is the case.  Chess players know that
> phenomenon well: humans definitely did get better during the era of chess
> software development, as we found out if we have old computer software:
> what once beat us we can now trounce.
> But… I was mostly away from all internet for about four weeks while on the
> road, and there has been minimal GPT use for the two weeks since I returned
> because of circumstances.  So I didn’t get smarter since the first week of
> June, I got dumber.
> But GPT seems to have gotten dumber still, and I have a possible
> explanation.  OpenAI is selling subscriptions like crazy.  We can safely
> assume they are not adding processors as fast as they are adding
> subscribers, so it would be reasonable to assume they need to spend less
> computing cycles per response, which would make it feel dumber than before.
> GPT hipsters, does that sound about right?
> spike
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